Lapham Grant Matches; one of the oldest amateur sporting events between two countries in world class style last weekend. The Lapham Grant, an annual squash tournament hosted in alternative years by Canada and the US, is a grand tradition dating back to 1922. The competition is intended to match teams of relative comparable ability in an atmosphere of camaraderie, good will and sportsmanship. The nature of the competition includes a tradition that matches are not refereed, ensuring the highest standards of fair play and sportsmanship among the participants. The Lapham Grant Matches also provide a wonderful opportunity for representatives from both sides of the border to discuss squash development initiatives, but is perhaps first and foremost a tremendous social event with its many unique traditions being preserved year after year, including the Finkelman Award for suspect behaviour and roses for each and every lady at the Saturday night banquet.
Over 120 athletes from all across Canada and the US, ranging from great talent, inferior talent to bon vivants competed for the coveted trophies valued at well over $50,000 and similar is size to the Stanley Cup or Davis Cup. The trophies consist of the Lapham Cup, donated in 1922 by Henry Lapham of Brookline, Massachusetts for men’s singles, the Grant Trophy, donated in 1944 by Alastair Grant of Montreal, Quebec for men’s doubles and the Lawrence Wilkins Trophy, donated in 2001 in honor of Barney Lawrence of Kitchener, Ontario and Howard Wilkins of the US, for the Men’s Legend Doubles. In 1999 Bill Crawford of Vancouver, British Columbia donated The Crawford Cup for the inaugural Ladies’ Singles and Doubles event.
This year’s incredible success was thanks to the tireless efforts of Canadian Captain and Jester Executive Michael Hobart, the infamous dynamic duo Co-Chairs Tony Ross and John Lea, their organization committee and the very generous support of all the patrons and sponsors.
In the end, US Co Captains Mac McAndrew and Will Osnato lead the US to a heart break victory over Captain Michael Hobart’s Canadian Grant team in an epic Sunday finale with both teams tied at 13 wins. Legend Gordon Anderson (former Canadian) and Scott Denne (former Auzzie) finally captured the Grant Trophy for the US with a 3-1 hard fought battle over true Canadians Norm Crook and Rob Warden.
The Canadian’s however dominated in the Lapham Singles with a sweet 16-9 victory over their US counterpart while US Captain Kit Tatum captured the Lawrence Wilkins Trophy with a 7-4 win over Captain Michael McBean’s formidable Canadian Legends.The ladies event was a marathon with the stellar Canadian Women’s team lead by Captain Lolly Gillen regaining the Crawford Cup for the Canucks with 23-8 victory over the extremely fit and talented US team led by Captain Kim Clearkin. Proudly no Canadian participant was the recipient of this year’s Finkelmann Award….no Ted Bruenner of the USA easily staggered away with that!
MAY THE TRADITIONS CONTINUE!